welcome to "newsline." i'm keiko kitagawa in tokyo. israeli leaders have made a move that is drawing criticism from their opponents and allies. they've approved a plan to expand settlement activities in the occupied palestinian territories. the decision comes a day after the u.n. general assembly upgrade the palestinian status to non-member observer state. organized the construction of 3,000 new names in settlements in east jerusalem and the west bank. the settlements are considered illegal under international law. the israelis say they also launched a product to business housing on the outskirts of
jerusalem. they say it could hinder the peace process. palestinian president refused to negotiate with israel while settlement construction continues. the white house has condemned the israeli government's decision. and national security council's spokesperson. the official says israel's action is powerful. >> opponents of egyptian president mohamed morsi is wrapping up the pressure against the country's new draft constitution. they've gathered in the tens of thousands to speak out against what they call another power grab by morsi and his allies. the demonstrators are occupying tahrir square in cairo. they say the voting on the draft wasn't fair. they argue the council is dominated by those who support
president morsi. >> translator: we will never be forced to approve the constitution. >> translator: the draft constitution does not represent the will of all egyptians. >> members of the council unanimously approved the draft constitution friday after an all-night session. egyptians will soon be able to vote on it in a referendum. they've already staged protest against morsi over the past week. they're angry they halted court challenges. a temporary step until the new constitution and parliament are created, he said. anti-government forces in kuwait are also raising their voices. tens of thousands of opposition supporters are protesting against a parliamentary election that's set for saturday. opposition politicians are angry
they'll change the election system. cut the number of ballots from each person from four to one. under the old system, candidates could call on supporters to cast additional ballots for their allies. the new system gives candidates the upper hand. government officials say the election will go ahead as scheduled. they say it will be wrong to wave democratic right to vote. only members of the family can become amir. has the chance to appoint and dismiss the prime minister. leaders in japan and china are engaged in a dispute over islands in the east china sea.
lawmakers in the united states have made a decision that may encourage the japanese. they've affirmed that the security treaty between the u.s. and japan covered the disputed islands. senators unanimously approved a legal amendment to reaffirm the u.s. commitment to japan. the amendment says the east china sea a vitally important to all nations in the asia pacific region. recognize that japan administer the senkaku islands. it says no action by a third party would effect their recognition and u.s. forces would protect territories under japan's administration. satellite images show north korea could be preparing to launch another rocket. researchers at john hopkins university in the united states say they've observed the first two stages of what appears to be a long range missile. these images of the launch site on the west coast of north korea were captured on monday.
researchers say they carry stages of a rocket. the orientation of the crane on the site was different than three days earlier. equipment that could be used to record the launch including cameras and antennas was also observed on the site. the researchers say north korea could be ready for liftoff as early as december 6th. they also know the country has not informed countries of its plans. north korean officials sent advance notice before previous tests on two occasions. the possible launch of a long range missile was among the topics discussed friday by high ranking chinese officials during a visit to pyongyang. the delegation met with kim jong-un. it was headed by vice chairman of the people's congress.
the u.s. recently promoted to the communist party's bureau. news agency says conveyed a mess from jinping. he referred to the preparations saying china and other countries are concerned. he also stressed that china is working to promote peace and stability in the region. the north korean leader was quoted as saying he's eager to develop relations with china's new leadership. the commander of u.s. forces in japan is cracking down on misconduct. he wants service members to keep a closer eye on each other in public. so he's banned them from leaving bases at night unless they take a buddy. he ordered troops to buddy up because of a series of incidents of misconduct. two u.s. navy sailors were arrested in october on suspicion of raping a woman in okinawa
prefecture. commanders imposed a curfew from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. but service members still caused trouble. commanders saying personnel must now take a colleague or family member when leaving base at night. also thinking of other ways to regain trust. politicians in india are trying to light a fire -- the government analysts say gdp growth last quarter was lower than expected. the economy grew 5.3% in the july to september period compared to a year earlier. the rate of growth fell two percentage points from the previous three months. it has now remained at the 5% level for three straight quarters. the global economic slowdown is partially to blame. so is the reserve bank of india's measures. the central bank has kept its
interest rate high at 8%. that's discouraging to take out loans to buy products such as cars. scientists at the u.s. space agency nasa say a probe orbiting mercury found evidence of water and ice on the planet. 3 the new information comes from the messenger probe. it's been orbiting the planet closest to the sun since 2011. they showed hydrogen in partially shadowed craters. they say it is consistent with that found in water. the total amount of ice on mercury is estimated at 100 billion tons. scientists say it may have been brought by comets or asteroids that crashed on the planet. the existence of life, however, is considered unlikely because of the planet's thin atmosphere.
the prospects of finding ice on mercury received a boost in 1991 after a radio telescope detected dry patches at the planet's poles. coming up, the three-day world weather forecast. that concludes this edition of "newsline." i'm keiko kitagawa in tokyo. on behalf of our team, thank you for staying with us on nhk world.